Coppens launches fish-free trout feed

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Seven months on from being acquired by Alltech, Dutch fish feed producer Coppens International has brought to market a new trout feed incorporating its parent company’s DHA-rich algae-derived fish oil replacer, ForPlus. 

Neogreen is the first feed product on the market to be formulated with ForPlus, claimed to transfer a high amount of DHA omega-3 into the fish. Its introduction comes at a time of growing concern about the availability and quality of fish oil and fishmeal, which is reportedly affecting DHA omega-3 levels in farmed fish. Recent research carried out by the University of Sterling in Scotland, for example, showed that levels of DHA omega-3 oils in farmed salmon have fallen significantly in the last five years. 

Coppens said DHA omega-3 produced through algae offers a viable alternative to marine fish oil, and has opened this option up to trout producers through the introduction of Neogreen. 

Anno Galema, managing director of Coppens International, confirmed that the new feed is already being sold and used in several markets and that a similar diet may soon be available for other aquaculture species. 

“Neogreen was a diet that was developed specifically with trout in mind. Coppens International has been working for some years on reducing the reliance on marine-based products in feeds and Neogreen is our first totally fish-free diet sold today. We believe the same strategy can be employed across other aqua species and work is underway in this regard,” Galema told FeedNavigator. 

Besides the new Neogreen diet, collaboration between the two companies’ research teams has spawned other innovations and developments for the aquatic feed market, according to Galema. 

“Over the last six months we have reviewed all of the Coppens International formulas to understand where we can use Alltech technologies to provide our customers with a performance advantage in the market,” he said.

Alternative to inorganic trace minerals

Replacing all of its inorganic trace minerals with Alltech’s Bioplex trace mineral complex has enabled Coppens to remove inorganic trace minerals from its products. Bioplex uses organically bound trace elements such as zinc, copper, manganese and iron, claimed to optimize the health, growth and performance of fish.

“The data clearly shows a benefit to the producer in terms of fish health and meat quality, whilst also being a higher quality assured source of these key nutrients,” said Galema.

He added that by drawing on Alltech’s salmon expertise and Coppens’ knowledge of RAS (Recirculating Aquaculture Systems) smolt production, Coppens had developed a range of smolt feeds. 

Since joining Alltech, Coppens has also benefitted from increased investment in its research facility; Galemo said that Alltech had committed “a significant funding program” to the Coppens Research Centre. 

“This will more than double our capacity whilst also enabling us to work with other species. This work is underway now and we expect it to be completed midway through the year,” said Galema.

Being part of Alltech should also pave the way for geographical expansion into new markets for Coppens. Historically, the Netherlands headquartered company has operated in 60 countries around the world, but mainly in Europe and Africa, whereas Alltech, active in 129 countries, has a far bigger global network.

“Our expectation is that the Coppens International brand will be able to extend beyond its current footprint through global partnerships and acquisitions, where our expertise in specialist aquatic feeds can be best employed,” said Galema.

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